another navy move

This is our fourth move in nine years of marriage and it's the toughest so far. The others have each had their challenges: leaving jobs, leaving friends, and so on. But this time, we're leaving the place we've called home for the last three-and-a-half years, the longest we've lived anywhere since college. We've put down some roots on this military base in the middle of California's central valley, which looks more like a desert these days. It's blazing hot, infested with ants, covered in dust and in the middle of nowhere. But somehow, it's become home, and I'm heartbroken to leave.

In June 2011, I finally got the keys to our house. It was a long wait for base housing, but we decided to go for it because we knew Nick would be deployed, and living on base would mean I'd be safe, secure and surrounded by people in the same position. It was the right decision for us. Three years, two deployments and two kids later, and I feel like we just moved in. These years haven't been easy, but they've been great. The most significant thing we've done is form friendships with some of the best people I've ever known. They are what I'll miss the most.

When my Dad found out I was engaged to Nick, he told me that in the Navy we might not live in the best places, but we'd always be surrounded by the best people. He was right. So now we're headed to a beautiful place, but we're leaving behind our dearest friends. I'll be crying as we leave town, as I've done with each move, but this one feels more significant somehow. When we pulled into Lemoore, we were a family of two, and we'll leave as a family of four. When we arrived, we were moving closer to family, and now we'll be three-thousand miles from home. My heart is heavy, but hopeful. After all, it's just another Navy move.